SFCC offers certification courses
Santa Fe will host the inaugural Next GenerationWater Summit on June 4-6. This first-of-its-kind, national event will feature three educational tracks, two keynote speakers and an expo, all at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. The event begins with the Green Expo, an exhibition presented by the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce. City Councilor Peter Ives declared, “The City of Santa Fe is honored to host theNextGenerationWater Summit, which is designed to continue the dialogue on how we can and must do more with less water.”
Water scarcity is emerging as a critical challenge to the western United States. The limits of water could halt construction in the west, bringing economic development to a standstill. This summit brings together a broad range of stakeholders to develop strategies that integrate a variety of interests and develop real solutions.
Santa Fe Community College, the educational partner, sponsors three water-certification courses. Pre-Summit courses include aWater Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) verifier course, an ARCSA Rainwater Harvesting AP course, and a QualifiedWater Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) course.
TheWERS course is a three-day class and if the test is passed, results in an WERS verifier certification that entitles the individual to perform WERS audits. WERS is now required for new home permits in the City of Santa Fe; see www. wers.us for more information about the program.
The certification from successful completion of the two-day ARCSA course can be used to submit plans in the county for rainwater system permits. This course is perfect for those that want to get into the rainwater profession or for those that just want to know how rainwater systems work. See www.arcsa.org for details.
The QWEL course is three days and passing the test gets you the QWEL/EPA certification. This course provides a deep dive into how irrigation works and how systems can be audited resulting in recommendations to be more efficient. The City of Santa Fe currently offers a rebate for city water users requesting a QWEL audit, which must be performed by a QWEL professional. You can find more information at www.qwel.net.
Visit www.NextGenerationWaterSummit.com to register for these courses, the FREE public expo, and the Next GenerationWater Summit.
Water is critical to our life in Northern New Mexico and consequently our knowledge about water is key to our way of life. These courses and the Next GenerationWater Summit are providing us an opportunity to learn, as well as build a career in the water industry. Water is going to be more and more critical as our population grows and as the climate warms. Knowing how we can use water efficiently, how we can reuse water and the best uses for reusedwater offer us a way to maintain our lifestyle for current generation and generations to come.
Doug Pushard, founder of the website www.HarvestH2o.com, has designed and installed residential rainwater systems for over a decade. He is a member of the Santa FeWater Conservation Committee, a lifetime member of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association, and an EPAWaterSense Partner. He can be reached at [email protected]vestH2o.com.